Suffolk affordable homes boost

A MULTI-MILLION pound boost in Government funding has been given to Suffolk to invest over the next two years in the number of affordable homes built.The Housing Corporation announced yesterday it would be ploughing £23.

A MULTI-MILLION pound boost in Government funding has been given to Suffolk to invest over the next two years in the number of affordable homes built.

The Housing Corporation announced yesterday it would be ploughing £23.4m into the county, which will see around 850 new homes built between 2006/08 under its National Affordable Housing Programme.

However, the organisation did not know how much money Suffolk received in the last round of funding.

Dr Wil Gibson, chief executive of rural campaign group Suffolk ACRE, welcomed the announcement.


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“It's really good news,” he said. “We have been working in partnership with housing associations and district councils for affordable rural housing in small villages and through that work we have been quite successful in getting schemes forward and we should get a bit of money for the next stage.

“There is something like 100 homes in the pipeline and it just goes to show that if you work together something can be done. The investment is due to a lot of hard work on the ground.”

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Sheila Button, Housing Corporation board member with special responsibility for the East of England, said: “We have confirmed our clear commitment to meet the housing needs of Suffolk residents.

“The provision of affordable homes plays a vital part in building and sustaining communities where people want to live, right across England. Our investment will make a major contribution throughout the region and help to ease the pressure on key workers and those on low incomes.”

The new homes will be a mix of affordable rent, or low cost home ownership through three new 'HomeBuy' products developed by the Housing Corporation and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM).

Some of the money will also provide new supported housing for the county's elderly or vulnerable residents.

Paul Tabiner, group chief executive of Flagship Housing Group, which manages homes in Suffolk, said: “In an area where the average house price is almost nine times that of the average income, I am very pleased to see investment in Suffolk which will see associations such as ours provide more affordable homes, which meet identified local priorities.

“Many of the homes being developed will be able to help regenerate communities and provide affordable housing for local people to remain in a locality.”

craig.robinson@eadt.co.uk

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